Chocolate Peppermint Chex Mix

This holiday twist to a crowd-favorite is hands down one of my favorite treats!  Some people call them Muddy Buddies, some call it Puppy Chow, but everyone agrees that Chocolate Peppermint Chex Mix is a hit.  My version has a cool hit of peppermint and bits of crushed candy cane.  one of the greatest tricks is making candy cane sugar to dust them with. It’s literally pulverized candy canes and it’s delicious!  Don’t be weirded out when you see peppermint and peanut butter together here.  It works.  I promise.  The amount of peanut butter isn’t enough that it competes with the peppermint.  It actually enhances everything and rounds out the flavor profile, while at the same time lending itself to the soft chocolate texture.  Just trust me and go with it.  These might change your life (or if nothing else, your pant size.)

chocolate peppermint chex mix in bowl

Step 1: Make Candy Cane Sugar

Place some powdered sugar in a food processor, and break up a bunch of candy canes in there with it.  This can also be done in a high-powered blender like I’m using.

peppermint sugar in blender

Pulse that a few times to break up the candy canes, and then on higher speed until it goes from crunchy to smooth. You can tell when it’s done when you open your food processor and you have fluffy white peppermint snow.  It’s soft powdered sugar with little teeny crunchy bits of peppermint.

This is great on all sorts of things you would use powdered sugar for.  Try making a buttercream frosting with it or my favorite: Peppermint Whipped Cream.

peppermint sugar

Step 2. Crush some additional Candy Canes.

Take a few more candy canes and put them in a ziplock bag Grab a heavy rolling pin, or a mallet, or the bottom of a heavy cup, or anything that can smash stuff.  And smash them.  You don’t need to pulverize them like we did in the food processor.  These little bits are getting tossed in with our cereal mix so you want little bites of peppermint.

Crushed Candycane

Place your Chex cereal in a big (no really, BIG- it will make mixing so much easier) bowl.  I’m showing my crushed candy canes in here, but I actually think it works better if you toss them in after the next step, so you’ll see that reflected in my directions, just FYI.

candycanes and chex mix

Step 3: Make Melted Chocolate Mixture.

melted peanut butter and chocolate

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a heat-safe bowl.  I know this sounds strange, seeing as we’re using peppermint, but trust me on this one.  If you have peanut allergies, I’ve been told that Sunbutter works great, or I did experiment with 1/2 the amount of coconut oil.  While my taste testers all agreed that the PB version tasted better, the coconut oil did work as a replacement.  Melt it until it’s creamy and smooth and immediately add in some peppermint extract, or peppermint oil.

Step 4: Coat your Cereal Mixture

Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal. The chocolate mix may be slightly thick, and seem like it’s not covering everything at first, but just keep stirring and you’ll soon see that all of those cereal pieces has a nice chocolatey coating.

chex and melted chocolate

Step 5: Dust with Candy Cane Sugar

Once it’s coated well, pour in your prepared candy cane sugar.

Candy Cane Sugar on Chex mix

Quickly toss everything together.  Mix, mix, mix again until it’s all dusted snowy white.

chocolate peppermint chex mix in bowl

Peppermint Chocolate Chex Mix has a creamy smooth chocolate, with cool burst of peppermint, and cute little pieces of red and white candy.  It’s pretty addicting, so consider yourself warned!

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Peppermint Chocolate Chex Mix

Chocolate Peppermint Chex Mix

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 15-20
  • Yield: 8-9 Cups

Ingredients

Ingredients
8 cups Rice Chex Cereal
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips (I’ve been told Sunbutter works great if you need a nut substitute)
½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons real butter
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract, or peppermint oil to taste
16 standard sized (the kind that come in a box) candy canes, divided*
1 cup powdered sugar

*As a candy cane connoisseur, I suggest Bob’s or Brach’s (they are owned by the same company now) or even the little round starbrite mints.  I would avoid Spangler brand for baking in general because the flavor and texture is far inferior. 


Instructions

Instructions:

Place cereal in a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Place 1 cup powdered sugar, and 8 candy canes in a food processor.  Pulse several times to break up candy canes and then process until smooth.  You’ll have very tiny bits of candy cane still visible.

Place remaining 8 candy canes in a ziplock bag and use a heavy rolling pin, or meat mallet,  to crush them into little bits.  Set aside.

 Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with peanut butter and butter.  Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.  Stir in extract (or oil) and immediately pour over chex mix.  Quickly pour in the crushed candy canes from the ziplock bag over the chocolate and then stir to coat the cereal.  The chocolate mixture might be slightly thick, but keep stirring and it will coat everything.

Once the cereal mixture is coated with chocolate, dump in the powdered sugar mix and stir until everything is dusted in white.

Eat out of the bowl, or package up for sharing!

 


Notes

Allergy Warning:  I think it’s a good reminder, since many of you will be giving this for gifts and sharing at holiday parties, to keep in mind that snacks like this, that don’t *appear* to contain peanut butter, can be especially dangerous for those with nut allergies.  Be courteous, and if you are gifting to someone, or are sharing at a party, include a note clearly labeling that it contains peanut butter.

Recipe Change: If you’ve been around a while, this recipe used to call for Hershey’s Mint Chocolate Chips. Since that product is not readily available anymore, I’ve adjusted the instructions to just call for regular chocolate chips plus extract.  Feel free to adjust extract amount according to your tastes!

Keywords: chocolate peppermint chex mix

54 comments

  1. I haven’t tried these yet but we use cashew butter to make Muddy Buddies as we have a peanut allergy. Usually I like the more “fresh” ground butter but for muddy buddies you really do need the more smooth texture for them to turn out right. I have found Jiff cashew butter works really well.

  2. does anyone know how sunbutter or other “non” nut butter would taste in these? We just found out we have a nut allergy—but I love these.

    1. I think Sunbutter should work just fine. I’ve used it in similar recipes for my nut-allergic child. Just make sure to stir it really, really well as it is very prone to separation.

      1. I just made this with Nutella. It’s excellent. I’m not sure if it was the Nutella, or the extra mint extract I used because I forgot to get mint chocolate chips, but my chocolate really seized up, so I added a couple extra tablespoons of melted butter.

  3. These are TOTALLY my new favorite Muddy Buddy!! I mean, I haven’t tried them yet, but I can already tell. I can taste them through the computer!! Is that weird?

  4. So, I just bought some of the Jif mint on Saturday and was wondering if there was a recipe to use it in and along comes your post! However I’m not clear, did you use the Jif mint and mint flavor and mint chips??? I love mint but I’m thinking that would be too much. Thanks for the recipe, definitely on my “gifting” list.

  5. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love reading you guys- even when it’s posts about stuff I would never make (I hate chocolate…yeah, I know….crazy). But I just love your voice/tone/style: “These might change your life (or if nothing else, your jean size.)” or “Or for holding the entire bowl in your lap while you watch your favorite dvr’d shows after your kids are in bed.”! Merry Christmas!

  6. I’m so glad you mentioned the puppy chow thing. Seriously ? So gross! I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates it when people call it that…
    I’m super excited to make these! Thanks for another fun recipe! 🙂

  7. I’m allergic to peanuts, so I eat almond butter or sun butter instead of peanut butter. Would either of those work in place of the peanut butter?

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